How Much Bandwidth Does Your Business Jet Need?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer because every aircraft, every operator and every mission is unique. One solution fits if your passengers want to make calls, check email or go online with their smartphones on short-haul flights. You'll need a little more "oomph" if they routinely sign onto the company server, download attachments, watch standard video clips or Facetime with the kids.

And you'll need to take in-flight connectivity a step further if your passengers want a Wi-Fi experience like they get in their home or office, with the ability to download huge files, use multiple devices, participate in teleconferences and stream live video—even on transoceanic flights.

Determining your bandwidth needs starts with answering a few simple questions. How do you use the Wi-Fi on your airplane? What do your passengers expect to do online? How much data will you consume now and in the future? What is your budget?

You can use this information to ballpark your bandwidth needs:

1 email (no attachments) 20KB
1 email (with standard attachments) 300KB
1 min. of surfing the web 250KB (15MB/hr.)
1 song downloaded 4MB
1 photo upload to social media 5MB
1 min. of streaming standard-definition video 11.7MB (700MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming high-definition video 41.7MB (2500MB/hr.)
1 min. of streaming 4K video 97.5MB (5850MB/hr.)


A decade ago, most aircraft rolled off the assembly line with only air-to-ground (ATG) or low-speed voice and data capabilities. The best equipped use the Ku-Band and connect with top internet speeds in the 3-4 mbps range. Standard-video streaming requires about 5 mbps.

If you want to stream Netflix or Hulu (and who doesn't?), you need the faster, more reliable connectivity approach offered by Ka-Band solutions, like the Honeywell JetWave satellite communications system. JetWave delivers a Wi-Fi experience like you have on the ground, in your home or office.

JetWave is the only way to access the Inmarsat Jet ConneX network, which offers internet speeds in the 4.6-20 mbps range and is fast enough to stream HD video with ease. Jet ConneX is reliable, too, with network availability above 95 percent. We provide global Wi-Fi coverage from wheels-up to wheels-down, even on transoceanic flights, and the Honeywell-Inmarsat solution is the first to offer guaranteed data rates.

In the end, you'll probably need some expert advice to calculate how much bandwidth you need for your connected aircraft.

Honeywell's Forge Cabin Connectivity team can help. To get started, meet with a member of our Honeywell Forge Cabin Connectivity Consulting team who will conduct a thorough evaluation and help you select, install and configure the solution that best meets your particular needs.